How To Write A Unique Open Letter
Start writing a post
Swoon

To Anyone Who Wants To Write An Open Letter, Here's Everything You Need To Know

Not all open letters are created equal.

8599
To Anyone Who Wants To Write An Open Letter, Here's Everything You Need To Know

Chances are if you're here, you're probably interested in writing an open letter. Yay! We're excited to have you.

Of course, not all open letters are created equal. In fact, there's a recipe to writing one for Odyssey that'll get featured on one of our many verticals. When it comes to Swoon specifically (for those new around here, that's our dating and relationships vertical), we receive dozens of open letters each month, many of which are all very similar.

So, if you're interested in writing an open letter that's unique and not like the rest, here are seven tips for making that open letter worthy of a feature on an Odyssey vertical.

1. Identify your "why?"

Before you start writing, decide why you are writing the letter. Is it to thank them? Is it to share a lesson you learned? Is it to tell them something you hadn't told them? Decide what your reason for writing the letter is and make sure it's clear by the time you close the letter.

2. Find something that makes your letter unique and stand out and include it in the headline

So you have a significant other and you're writing a letter to them, that's romantic and we love to see it! However, in order for it to get the number of views it deserves and to actually stand out from the other letters just like it on Swoon, you'll want to find something that makes your specific letter unique. Is the unique part who the person you are addressing the letter is? Or is the unique part what they have done for or taught you?

TIP: Be as specific as possible in headlines so it can reach a specific audience.

3. Write the headline using this structure: "To [Insert Person/Thing Letter Is Addressed To], [Insert Your Why]"

Omit the "An Open Letter To" part in the headline and cut straight to the point. It's best to say "To [Insert Recipient]" and add a distinguisher that makes your letter unique from every other letter that's addressed "To My Boyfriend."

4. Make it as relatable as possible (even if only for a small group)

Yes, your letter is specifically written to one person, but you want to keep in mind how many other people will also be reading the letter (hopefully a lot — I mean, you put a lot of effort into writing it, you deserve all the page views). Because of this, the more others can relate to the article as well, the more likely it'll be for them to share it.

5. Write from your point of view

While it's great to keep in mind that others will be reading this and might be able to relate, it's also important to speak from the heart (that is the most relatable thing) and from your point of view. Use "I," "me," and "you" to keep the letter intimate between you and the person you're writing to (and/or whoever is reading it).

6. Break up lengthy paragraphs by separating strong sentences that can stand alone in bold text

Seeing an essay-style format can be a turnoff for some readers. To make it more visually appealing, consider breaking your long paragraphs up with strong sentences or key phrases that can stand alone.

Format Example:

LONG PARAGRAPH LONG PARAGRAPH LONG PARAGRAPH LONG PARAGRAPH LONG
PARAGRAPH LONG PARAGRAPH LONG PARAGRAPH LONG PARAGRAPH LONG PARAGRAPH.

Strong sentence that can stand alone, written in bold.

LONG PARAGRAPH LONG PARAGRAPH LONG PARAGRAPH LONG PARAGRAPH LONG
PARAGRAPH LONG PARAGRAPH LONG PARAGRAPH LONG PARAGRAPH LONG PARAGRAPH.

7. Use a personal photo if possible

As with any other Odyssey article, using a personal photo is always preferred. That said, depending on who the letter is addressed to, you may not be able to use a personal photo (if you're writing to your ex, for instance, let's maybe not include their pic).

Tip: If you can't use a personal photo, try using a photo from a relevant movie or television show scene or finding a stock photo that looks like it could potentially be a personal photo.

Examples of Strong Open Letters:

Follow Swoon on Instagram.

Report this Content
Student Life

An Open Letter to Winter

Before we know it April will arrive.

570

Dear Winter,

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

6 Questions To Ask Yourself When Cleaning Up Your Room

This holiday break is the perfect time to get away from the materialistic frenzy of the world and turn your room into a decluttered sanctuary.

1757
Pixar

Cleaning isn’t just for spring. In fact, I find school’s holiday break to be a very effective time for decluttering. You’re already being bombarded by the materialistically-infatuated frenzy of society’s version of Christmas, Hanukah, etc. It’s nice to get out of the claustrophobic avarice of the world and come home to a clean, fresh, and tidy room. While stacking up old books, CDs, and shoes may seem like no big deal, it can become a dangerous habit. The longer you hang onto something, whether it be for sentimental value or simply routine, it becomes much harder to let go of. Starting the process of decluttering can be the hardest part. To make it a little easier, get out three boxes and label them Donate, Storage, and Trash. I'm in the middle of the process right now, and while it is quite time consuming, it is also so relieving and calming to see how much you don't have to deal with anymore. Use these six questions below to help decide where an item gets sorted or if it obtains the value to stay out in your precious sanctuary from the world.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Why I Don't Write (Or Read) An "Open Letter To My Future Husband/Wife"

Because inflated expectations and having marriage as your only goal are overrated.

14093
Urban Intellectuals

Although I have since changed my major I remember the feverish hysteria of applying to nursing school--refreshing your email repeatedly, asking friends, and frantically calculating your GPA at ungodly hours of the night. When my acceptance came in I announced the news to friends and family with all the candor of your average collegiate. I was met with well wishes, congratulations, and interrogations on the program's rank, size, etc. Then, unexpectedly, I was met with something else.

Keep Reading... Show less
Content Inspiration

Top 3 Response Articles of This Week

Meet the creators making their voices heard on Odyssey.

4667
Top 3 Response Articles of This Week
Why I Write On Odyssey

At Odyssey, we're on a mission to encourage constructive discourse on the Internet. That's why we created the response button you can find at the bottom of every article.

Last week, our response writers sparked some great conversations right here on our homepage. Here are the top three response articles:

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

"Arthur's Perfect Christmas" Is The Perfect Holiday Special, Move Over Charlie Brown

Arthur Read is here to deliver the real meaning of Christmas.

5009
Pexels

As the holiday season draws nearer, many of us find ourselves drawn to the same old Rankin-Bass Christmas specials and the perennial favorite, "A Charlie Brown Christmas." However, I would like to suggest an overlooked alternative, "Arthur's Perfect Christmas." It is a heartfelt, funny, and surprisingly inclusive Christmas special that deserves more recognition.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments